A Special Project: Sign Language Interpreting for ‘Hands of My Father’
Written by Lisa Montanaro | September 24, 2009

Last year, I was asked to interpret a reading by an author named Myron Uhlberg for a book he wrote named “Hands of My Father,” a coming-of-age memoir. Myron was born in Brooklyn in the depths of the Depression to profoundly deaf parents. As a hearing child, the responsibility to communicate with the hearing world fell to Myron. He became his parents’ interpreter, and their link to the outside world.

I have a cousin that is deaf. He married a lovely deaf woman, and they have two wonderful hearing children. I grew up watching this couple communicate in sign language with each other and with their children. I was captivated by this beautiful language, and vowed to officially learn it some day. That day came during college when I took an American Sign Language (ASL) class. I then went on to work as an instructor and interpreter at the New York School for the Deaf in White Plains, NY for three years. It was an amazing experience and one I will cherish for life.

Sign language is at the heart of Myron’s book. Thus, the publisher felt it important for the public to be able to actually see the language. I had the pleasure of serving as the interpreter for the excerpts from the book that Myron chose to read. 

If you want to see a beautiful, expressive language, and hear the chosen excerpts read by Myron, click here. I hope you are as moved by this unique language, and Myron’s story as I am. It was an honor to be the interpreter for this project.

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Meet the Author

Helping others be the best versions of themselves gets me jazzed!

I’ve worn many hats in my lifetime—often at the same time—while enjoying fulfilling careers. I’ve been a performer, teacher, sign language instructor, lawyer, career counselor, law professor, coach, consultant, mediator, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, writer, and author. 

I’m an eternal optimist and life-long learner, constantly researching ways to improve personal and professional effectiveness. And it brings me great joy to then pass on the results of that persistent curiosity to my clients and audiences. 

Of all the career hats I’ve been privileged to wear, my favorite is owner of this business since 2002. Why? Because it provides me the opportunity to work with wonderful organizational and individual clients. On any given day, I get to connect deeply with audiences, work with dedicated teams, improve workplaces, watch clients have a-ha moments, and know I’ve made a difference in their lives and careers. And that is very satisfying.